Magoha’s reopening of schools announcement met with opposition

Education CS George Magoha/ COURTESY

The announcement by Education Cabinet Secretary on the reopening of schools next week has been greeted with opposition.

Prof George Magoha on Tuesday announced schools will reopen on October 12 for Grade 4, Class 8 and Form 4 students.

In a statement, Magoha said the schools will close on December 23, 2020, for a one week break and open again on January 4, 2021, up to March 19, 2021.

Class 8 candidates will sit their KCPE starting March 22 and finish on March 24.

Their KCSE candidates will start their exams on March 25 and finish on April 16.

Marking of the KCSE exams will be done from April 19 to May 7, 2021.

KEEPING STUDENTS SAFE

Magoha said all students must adhere to the mandatory use of facemasks and monitoring of body temperatures.

“Where there is no running water, the school will use hand sanitiser,” the CS said in the statement.

“Although physical distancing remains a challenge, it should not be used as a bottleneck excuse to deny any child away from school.”

The CS has also been criticized by parents and teachers, who argue that the preparations are not enough.

Headteachers, for instance, are demanding for the release of capitation fees to prepare schools after seven-month closure.

Some say they schools have bushes and overgrown grass, and water and electricity have been disconnected due to nonpayment of bills.

Teachers in Kiambu county are calling for recruitment of more tutors to ensure social distancing.

Parents are also unsure of the safety of children due to spacing. Others says they were not financially prepared due to the economic impacts of Covid-19.

Mwingi West MP Charles Nguna said the decision to re-open school too soon and was not in good faith.

“The ministry should make sure that our pupils and students safety is guaranteed. Have they disbursed funds to the schools? Has the ministry ensured safe learning conditions?” Nguna posed.

Elego Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen tweeted, “I have a child in class 6&another in Grade 4 what’s the logic of taking the grade 4 chap to school on Monday while the older one is at home.Didn’t the President say we shall first establish “HOW”&TOGETHER agree “WHEN”?When did the TOGETHER meeting take place?Did I miss a memo?”

Bravin Yuri tweeted, “Kenya isn’t Ready for the reopening of schools but people MUST eat”.

Ben Cylah said, “Professor Magoha, you closed schools, now you want them opened. What measures have you taken to prevent our children from the said pandemic?”

John Katana said, “This is a big joke. How is CS Magoha working it out ? Giving parents/guardians 5 days to prepare pupils and students back to school when most parents don’t have the resources as a result of Covid-19 pandemic?”

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